Here are a few helpful links:

Guitar, Ukulele
1/2 size classical guitar (also known as a 33″ or 34″ guitar) – Hohner HAG250P Classical – Amazon  |  Laurel Canyon 1/2 Size classical guitar – Music & Arts (can be purchased at local Music & Arts store in Cedar Park, or if you call the Music & Arts store in Round Rock, it can be transferred from the Cedar Park store to the Round Rock store)  |  Yamaha CGS Student Classical Guitar Natural 1/2-Size – Guitar Center (can be purchased at Guitar Center Round Rock or through guitar center’s website)

3/4 size classical guitar (also known as a 36″ guitar) – Lyons Classroom Guitar – Guitar Center   |  Yamaha CGS Classical – Guitar Center   |  Yamaha Student Series CGS103AII Classical Guitar, Natural – Amazon

full size classical guitar (also known as a 38″ to 41″ guitar) – any Lucero, Yamaha, Laurel Canyon, or Cordoba classical

Method book – Hal Leonard Guitar Method – Complete Edition (plastic comb)

guitar, ukulele tuner – Snark SN5X Clip-On Tuner for Guitar, Bass & Violin (works on Ukulele’s too) – Amazon
footstool – On Stage FS7850B Guitar Foot Rest – Amazon
classical guitar capo – Kyser Quick-Change Guitar Capo for classical guitars or WINGO Classical Flat Guitar Capo for Nylon String Guitars-Rosewood Finish with 5 Picks
acoustic guitar (steel string) and electric guitar capo –  Kyser Quick-Change Guitar Capo for 6-string acoustic guitars or WINGO Guitar Capo for Acoustic and Electric Guitars – Rosewood Color with 5 Picks
ukulele capo – WINGO Pro Ukulele Capo for Soprano Contert Baritone,Rosewood

Steel strings (for Acoustic guitars) – Amazon
Nylon strings (for Classical guitars) – Amazon


PIANO/KEYBOARD BOOKS (please buy new books so answers, markings, fingerings, and progress can be properly tracked per student)
– Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson Book 1A – Amazon
– Alfred’s Premier Piano Course Lesson Book 1B – Amazon.
(Both of these can also be found at the local Guitar Center and Music & Arts stores.)

Keyboards come in 3 different sizes/variants. A full-size keyboard has 88 keys, but there are also 61-key and 76-key variants. Full-size keyboards, especially one’s that come with pedals physically built in the stand are often referred to as digital pianos and are known specifically for emulating the sound of an acoustic “real” piano. The term “keyboard” can actually cover a range of piano-like music instruments/devices. With this being said, make sure you don’t buy a “keyboard controller” or “MIDI keyboard”. You want a “digital piano” or a “keyboard” that has speakers and a port for headphones. MIDI keyboards do not have speakers and only trigger sounds when hooked up to an external synthesizer or computer.)

While the full-size 88-key covers everything, a 76-key keyboard will cover roughly 85% of piano songs. A 61-key can suffice well for beginners and younger students as the majority of beginner songs will only use about half the keys on a 61-key keyboard. The 61-key keyboards often have a larger selection of different keyboard sounds for students to explore. Younger students love this! The more they love it, the more they’ll engage with it!

If you’re starting out with a 61-key keyboard, aim to get one with “touch-sensitive” keys (sometimes referred to as “touch-responsive” or  “velocity sensitive”) so music can be played with dynamics. Touch sensitive means notes will sound louder or softer depending on hard or soft the keys are played. In the world of music, the variance of loud and soft sounds is called dynamics. (You press the keys down harder for louder sound and you press the keys down softer for quieter sound.) Playing with dynamics make music exciting, fun and emotional and is a critical part of developing one’s musicianship. Fyi, Amazon’s number one rated best selling 61-key keyboard is a RockJam 61 key keyboard that does NOT have “touch-sensitive” keys meaning you or your child will be missing out entirely on being able to play and develop an understanding of the musical concept of dynamics. I do NOT recommend this keyboard. Most 76-key and 88-key keyboards are touch sensitive, but for 61-key keyboards, I’d make sure that the “touch sensitive”, “touch responsive” or “velocity sensitive” feature is written in the keyboard’s description or feature set.

Regardless of how many keys are present, having a practice instrument at home can definitely boost musical progression! Ultimately, an 88-key keyboard/digital piano that has fully-weighted keys or even an acoustic piano is the goal.

Here are a few keyboards I’d recommend (not in any particular order, prices and availability may vary):
—  Casio CT-S300 61-Key Package with Headphones, Stand, Power Supply, 6-Foot USB Cable and eMedia Instructional Software – ~$220 – Amazon  (~$180 for the keyboard by itself)
— Starfavor 88-Key Keyboard Electronic Keyboard Piano for Beginner, X-Stand, Carrying Case, Sustain Pedal, Power Supply, Electric Keyboard SEK-88A – ~$160 – Walmart (For a beginner on a budget, this is a solid bang-for-the-buck as you get 88 keys, semi-weighted (ideally you want fully weighted but that increases the price heavily), and you get a keyboard stand and sustain pedal. It is notable that these keys are not the full size, but again for a beginner, especially a younger one with relatively smaller hands, it’s a solid bang-for-the-buck purchase. However, I’d go for the best budget 88-key keyboard I’ve seen so far, is the Donner one listed below.
— Yamaha P-45LXB Digital Piano with Stand and Bench Black (88-Key full size) – ~$680 – Guitar Center  |  Music & Arts

These first 3 selections are nice because they include a bench for seating and/or a stand for the actual keyboard (so you don’t have to use a table or shelf, etc.). A keyboard stand and a bench are 2 accessories that you usually have to purchase separately.

The following keyboards are also solid choices but you will need to provide your own seating, by using a spare chair or buying a bench. You’ll also need to purchase a stand for the keyboard itself:
— Yamaha NP12 61-Key Lightweight Portable Keyboard with PA130 Power Adapter – ~$200 – Amazon
— Yamaha PSRE373 61-Key Touch Sensitive Portable Keyboard with PA130 Power Adapter – ~$220 – Amazon
— Yamaha PSREW300AD 76-Key Portable Keyboard & Power Supply – ~$345 – Amazon
— Yamaha NP32 76-Key Lightweight Portable Keyboard, Black – ~$330 – Amazon

If you’re going for the full-size 88-key keyboard, I’d go for one that “fully weighted” versus “semi-weighted”. (If a keyboard markets itself as having fully-weighted or  semi-weighted keys, it also has “touch sensitivity” so you will be able to perform dynamics on it!) Fully weighted keys give you a similar feel to an acoustic piano making it easier on the fingers to play back and forth between digital and acoustic pianos. Here are some solid 88-key keyboards:
— AODSK Weighted Piano 88-Key Beginner Digital Piano,Full Size Weighted keyboard with Hammer Action,with Sustain Pedal – ~$230 – Amazon (If I were on a strict budget, and wanted 88-keys, I’d try this one out. It doesn’t have many reviews and I do NOT have personal experience with it, but it is highly rated and fits all of my beginner criteria.)
— Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size Weighted Keyboard, Portable Electric Piano with Sustain Pedal, Power Supply – ~$305 – Amazon (This is my current 88-key budget pick.)
— Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Digital Piano – ~$450 – Amazon – (This keyboard also comes with a sustain pedal and a power supply)
— YAMAHA P71 88-Key Weighted Action Digital Piano with Sustain Pedal and Power Supply (Amazon-Exclusive) – ~$500 – Amazon

In general, I’ve used and/or recommend keyboards from the Casio’s Privia or CDP series, the Roland FP series (Roland FP-10 or Roland FP-30x), or the Yamaha’s YPG, NP, PSR-E373, or P series.

If you have a “weighted” or “fully-weighted” 88-key keyboard, I’d get a double X stand to properly support the heavier keyboard. The Amazon Basic double X stand is about $35. If you have a “semi-weighted” 88-key keyboard or 76 or 61 key keyboard, a single X stand will work well. The Amazon Basic single X stand is about $28.

You can use a chair or a bench to support comfortable piano keyboard playing. If you’re looking for a bench just make sure it properly supports the  weight of the player. The RockJam KB100 Adjustable Padded Keyboard Bench, X-Style, Black from Amazon is about $38 and supports up to 340 lbs.

Musical apps
Piano Maestro (iPad only) – use to practice method book songs with accompaniment and the ability slow down tempo … and because it’s fun!

Rhythm Swing (iOS) – use to practice steady beat and concept of ‘waiting for a count-off or count-in.

Flashnote Derby (iOS, Android, Kindle) – use to recognize notes on the staff.

Use this to sing on pitch more accurately
Android – Learn to Sing – Sing Sharp
iOS – Learn to Sing, Singing Lessons